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Ford Enters Performance SUV Segment With 355-Horsepower 2019 Edge ST

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The move will secure existing jobs at the plant but is not expected to create any new ones

We all know about the Ford Focus and Fiesta ST, two of the hottest little hatches you can buy.

The ST edition of the Edge sport utility vehicle that Ford introduced Thursday in advance of the Detroit auto show is powered by a 335-horsepower twin-turbo V-6 engine, engineered on the track and styled to look "sinister", said its designer Steve Gilmore. "From a performance standpoint, and with its SUV silhouette and versatility, it sets a new standard Edge fans will love to drive".

Ford has confirmed that the Edge ST is happening. Whether or not the buyer choses to relay that output to the front wheels or feed all four in an Edge spec'd with all wheel-drive, power will first be fed through a Ford-developed 8-speed automatic transmission.

No pricing details are available at this point for the new Ford Performance Edge ST model, but a 2018 Ford Edge Sport retails for roughly $40,000.

Performance brakes are optional, as are 21-inch wheels and summer Pirelli tires.

"It's not just a sporty color or badge", said Jonathan Crocker, the 2019 Edge ST engineering manager. This includes a large central grille opening and unique sculpting through the middle and bottom of the front fascia, introducing the same basic angular design that gives the ST cars their aggressive face.

Edge sales have improved steadily in the competitive and rapidly growing Middle CUV segment in the US, hitting 142,603 units previous year when it was Ford's fastest-growing SUV brand at 6.0%, according to WardsAuto data.

Yes, the mid-size SUV is getting Ford's full performance treatment, the first Ford SUV to go on the ST meal plan.

Ford also refreshed the regular Edge with tech features that include the ability to locate, unlock, start, and lock the auto with a mobile app and connect up to 10 devices using in-car WiFi. The FordPass Connect multimedia connectivity system with Wi-Fi will be standard, enabling the connection of up to 10 wireless personal electronic devices, and enabling communication with smartphones via the FordPass app.

Ford adds a suite of driver-assistance technology to all '19 Edge models including forward collision braking and post-collision braking, pedestrian detection, lane-keeping alert and assist and blindspot and cross-traffic alert. It will bring Ford's SUV lineup up-to-speed with crosstown rivals General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, which previous year unveiled performance trims for full-size SUV models. More importantly efficiency has additional gains from the switch from a six-speed automatic to an eight-speed gearbox - which is now operated via a new rotary knob, instead of the classic gear lever.

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